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Saturday, October 16th
Loan Center is one of two car title loan services, along with 1 800 Car Title, operated by Wilshire Commercial Capital: an "A+" rated company with the BBB. No matter which one you choose, you'll have to be a resident of Arizona, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico, Utah or Idaho to get a car title loan here.
Personal loans also available
One difference between the two sites is that Loan Center also makes personal loans available to their customers. These don't have to be secured with your vehicle's title, and you may want to consider looking at your options for that type of borrowing in addition to a car title loan.
Phone call required, but docs can be submitted online
The process for getting a car title loan here, compared with other lenders, is both easier and more complicated. On the one hand, you'll have to talk with a Loan Center loan officer over the phone before you can be approved: you'll submit your initial application online and then talk with a rep to finalize the loan. Many of Loan Center's rivals don't have that phone call requirement. On the other hand, all of your documents can be submitted electronically, saving you from having to go to a physical location near you to turn in your car title.
A+ from the BBB
Loan Center's parent company gets an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, which isn't always easy to come by when you're talking about car title lenders. The BBB showed 25 complaints registered there in the year leading up to this evaluation, and Wilshire Commercial Capital responded quickly and appropriately to each one. Customer feedback elsewhere is harder to find. There are a handful of testimonials on the 1 800 Car Title sister site, but they're hand-selected by the company. We found very few independently-verified ratings from verified clients of Loan Center or 1 800 Car Title.
Good customer service
We had a decent experience with Loan Center's customer service team via live chat. While we had one question that never got a response, the representative we got was helpful in answering our other questions.
More loan info, please
What went unanswered? We wanted to get an overall idea of how much we'd be able to borrow and what our interest rate would be, but there's nowhere on the site that lets you look it up state by state. The FAQ says to expect a loan amount from $2000 to $30,000 and with interest fees ranging from 35.5% to 199.99%. We'd like to see that information given more freely, instead of borrowers having to dig it up deep in the FAQ. The car title loan page also says that people can borrow up to $50,000: that's a lot more than what the FAQ says, and we're not sure which amount is correct without requesting a loan for each state where Loan Center works.
Expect an origination fee
We also found, in our digging, that Loan Center charges an origination fee of up to 5% on car title loans. Keep that in mind as you're calculating the cost of borrowing money through this provider.
Not a bad choice if you're eligible
Loan Center is a pretty solid option among car title loan providers. Their interest rates are competitive, their customer service team is helpful, and the company has a good reputation with the BBB. The limited number of states where they operate keeps Loan Center from ranking higher, but you shouldn't have trouble getting a car title loan here if you live in one of those locations.
If you're considering a car title loan, chances are good that you've come across some unexpected bills. Maybe your car broke down and you need it fixed quickly to keep your job. Or your roof started to leak after a storm and you can't wait on your insurance adjuster to take months to get the claim paid. Many Americans find themselves in trouble and don't have many options for getting money fast. That's where car title loans come in.
How does this type of loan work? If you own a vehicle free and clear, you can use its title as collateral to secure a short-term loan. The good thing is, you don't have to stop using your car: continue to drive it as you usually would, until the loan is repaid in full and you get the title returned to you.
Car title loans are also attractive because they rarely require you to have a great credit history: you're guaranteeing that you'll repay the loan by borrowing against your car's value, so credit isn't really a factor. Of course, that's one of the downsides too: if you don't pay the loan back, you stand to lose your transportation, and you can't borrow more than your car is worth. That's cool if you're driving a Porsche, but if you drive a 20-year-old beater you might not get much out of a title loan.
Another thing to keep in mind is that car title loans usually have really high interest rates: in the triple digits isn't unheard of. You'd be wise to see if other, lower-interest rate personal loans are a possibility before you turn to a car title loan for your cash needs.
So, all that being said, how can you tell which car title loan provider to use? There are a lot of them out there, and some of them are less-than-reputable in the way they treat customers. Here are a couple of factors to check out before you commit to a car title loan:
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